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Spring or Autumn?

Poll #745849 Spring or Autumn?

Some time between 667 and 672, the Japanese emperor Tenji asked his palace minister to "match the radiance of the myriad blossoms of the spring mountains against the colors of the thousand leaves of the autumn mountains." Princess Nukata wrote a poem choosing autumn over spring, and that's been the culturally preferred Japanese choice ever since. Which would you choose?

I'm with Princess Nukata; I'd choose autumn
What was she thinking?! I'd choose spring
Never mind spring or autumn; I'd choose summer
Let it snow! I'd choose winter
Sorry, my seasons don't divide up that way

Princess Nukata answered in a poem. I'll give you the translation from Edwin Cranston's A Waka Anthology, Volume 1: The Gem-Glistening Cup (That's where the quote in the poll question comes from, too.) It comes on p. 175 of that volume.

When spring comes forth
That lay in hiding all the winter through,
The birds that did not sing
Come back and sing to us once more;
The flowers that did not bloom
Have blossomed everywhere again.
Yet so rife the hills
We cannot make our way to pick,
And so deep the grass
We cannot pluck the flowers to see.
But when on autumn hills
We gaze upon the leaves of trees,
It is the yellow ones
We pluck and marvel for sheer joy,
And the ones still green,
Sighing, leave upon the boughs--
Those are the ones I hate to lose.
For me, it is the autumn hills.

As for me, though, I like summer best. But if I lived in some of the places my lj friends live in, I might well pick a different season!



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
You are putting your paid account to good use...good news for your friends.
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm pleased you think so--it's certainly fun for me, too!
Jun. 11th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)
I think it took being in a place where spring is so compressed and the surrounding seasons are so intense/*long* (compared to what I knew before) for me to move away from Nukata-hime -- in Japan I think I'd be in her camp. England? It has to be summer . . . (_excellent_ poll, btw).Now, what's 霞さん‘s opinion, I wonder?
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: 惜しさ
Jun. 11th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
While I do enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves in the Fall, I like Spring the best. But for things to do? Summer.
As for Spring....
I am excited when things pop up after the snow melts, everything is new and just beginning. Little flowers pop up when you least expect it.
And having a birthday in April doesn't hurt either.

More polls, please!
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
Re: spring
Glad you liked the poll! I'll see what I can do about more :-)

The hopefulness of spring and the sense of a fresh start, they're really wonderful, I agree!
Jun. 11th, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
Well, I'm pretty sure you know my thoughts on this kind of thing -- It is really really hard to choose. Autumn makes me feel kind of happy, nostalgic, and melancholy, and while those are very deep emoions, I like the festivity of spring, too. Summer is a bit hot here, and winter is a bit cold. So, I picked spring... But I like autumn too. (I wonder if Nukata-hime had any trouble deciding?)
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
I bet she did have trouble deciding--if you love the different seasons, it's hard to pick just one. We could be like the Japanese essayist Sei Shonagon and pick different seasons for different things (actually she picked different times of day for different seasons).
Jun. 11th, 2006 09:18 am (UTC)
The summers here are brutal...or I'm just a wuss...the winters here are wonderful but the spring....ah...the spring is when the cycle comes full circle, back to life.
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of you (and miafedup and jmeadows when I said that I probably wouldn't pick summer as my favorite season if I lived where some of my lj friends live. In cool New England it's not hard to like summer--though none of my family members picked it as their favorite (it's my mom's favorite, though).

It's true about spring and the cycle of life--I love seeing the new green come up!
Jun. 12th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
You know, I so understand the cycle of life. But I still gotta go with autumn for my vote. Personally, it has nothing to do with the leaves changing because we don't get that here. In Arizona the leaves are two colors. Green and brown. They just all fall off their tree's one day and turn into little lumps on the ground. Nothing vibrant or interesting about that.

However the way we feel about autumn is how many people feel about spring. The cold, harsh winter is finally(!) coming to an end...beautiful, crisp air awaits. For us, it's the hot, unbearable summer ending and the cool fall air coming in. It's very much a celebration.

Well, and, there is the whole Halloween factor. I love me some Trick or Treating. :) :)
Jun. 11th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)
Gyah, I hate spring. The temperature's hopelessly erratic, it's often raining or humid, and bugs are coming out. Summer's better, mainly because the temperature's somewhat more constant and rain isn't as frequent (except this year :P), but there are still bugs and humidity.

Winter is a wonderful season. On those rare snowy days, it's indescribably beautiful. On other days, it's crisp and cold (sounds like beer). Best thing about cold: you can bundle up against it. Not much you can do about heat.

But Autumn takes the cake--it's easily the best season. Around here, you get temperatures between the 80s and 40s. A wide range, but a good one, because when it's an 80 degree scorcher, the summer humidity has passed, so you can really enjoy it, and when it's a cold (crisp!) 40 degree day...well, I just like those sorts of days, especially when frosty leaves litter the ground. Anywhere in between is a pleasant temperature anyway. Aside from the spiffy temperatures, autumn wins because

1) The bugs are dying off or hibernating

2) The humidity is gone and the rain slacks off (not that I don't like thunderstorms...but too many is too many, and you can still get them in fall anyway).

3) The beautiful foliage--from the leafy green of September to the red and gold of October, and even to the bare, windswept, gray-brown of November--is fabulous. Plus, berries are out!

Now this just leaves me wondering: why hasn't anyone voted for winter?
Jun. 11th, 2006 06:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, great reasons for picking autumn! And I appreciate the comments about the other seasons too, esp. winter.

Actually, someone did pick winter, by the way, they just didn't leave a comment :-) (You can see if you pick "view poll results.)
Jun. 11th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
Polls are fun. This was a good one.

Fall wins because it's
1. pretty
2. temperate
3. short (sadly)
4. the beginning of the new year for the students
5. good camping weather
Jun. 12th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
No question -- fall is the best time of year in Colorado. Summer is hot (and rainy towards the end), spring is erratic and humid, and winter is just erratic. Although, given that I like cold, it's an easy second place.

But here, fall is usually cool and dry, with lots of nice weather for hiking, and some pretty yellow aspens to see while you're at it (the aspens have got nothing on the foliage up there, but they're still nice).
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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